When to Take your Protein
Similar to keeping your rest period precisely at 1.5 minutes or adding that 2.5lb plate to get every inch of gains during your workout, lifters do everything possible to pinpoint the exact time to get their protein shake in. Some people down their protein the minute they finish their workout so their body doesn’t waste a second of much needed recovery. Being structured or taking an analytical approach to your protein is not a bad thing, and the reality is most people miss getting their protein in. But how much does taking your protein at specific times actually help muscle growth and recovery?
None other than our friend at MASS, Greg Nuckols, looks into the research behind it. The researchers in the featured article compared a fast digesting protein similar to whey to slow digesting casein at a variety of consumption times pre and post workout. They found that although the fast acting protein elevates some amino acid levels more quickly, both protein types are are similar in their effect.
The takeaway is that the type of protein you take is not a huge factor as long as you actually get the protein in! It is recommended that you at ingest the protein (in grams) equal to at least 1.8 times your bodyweight in kilograms. For most effectiveness, this amount should be consumed across 3 equal portions at different times during the day. It is best to take 2 of those portions 1-2 hours pre and post workout. This protein intake can come from protein shakes or from solid food. So whether you drink your protein shake within 15 minutes post workout, or and hour post workout, as long as you are still getting it in you’ll be chugging along on the gain train.
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